This past April, a Väderstad Tempo L 16 took to a field near Enying, in western Hungary, with a pit crew of supporters. In just 24 hours, the Tempo planted 502.05 hectares (around 1240 acres) of corn.
And “that was putting down fertilizer, seed and insecticide at the same time,” says Larry Wieler of Väderstad, in the following video. “Average speed was a little over 20km/h, so about 12, 13, 14 mph.”
Though the company was proud of the precision retained through the endeavour, Wieler doesn’t suggest farmers take to the fields hoping to plant at these speeds (the suggested working speed is 10-17km/h).
“What we thought it would prove is that we were able to go at that speed and we got tremendously good precision. We got excellent emergence and crop,” he explains.
According to the company, researchers from Godollo University sampled 6808 plants in the record-setting fields and found only 24 doubles and 16 skips.
And although speed is certainly one of the Tempo’s big selling features, the system offers many other benefits as well.
“It has its own little wifi that allows it to contact an iPad that you run with an app. And through that app, you one can use it as a performance monitor,” says Wieler. “You can also use it to calibrate your unit — takes about five minutes, you don’t have to run back and forth to the cab, you just stand at the back of the unit, use the iPad and you can calibrate your seed.”
And while the iPad can give data on seed placement, the machine itself maintains control of seed kernels. The unit’s positive air pressure drives seed to the ground at roughly 35mph, where it’s stopped by a rubber stop wheel inside the seed trench, just 1/4″ from its final destination. This means neither gravity nor terrain angle create seed-related problems during planting says Wieler.
The machine is available in 12 and 16 row configurations, with 1.4-9.6m and 11.2-12.2m working widths, respectively. Each row has a 100 litre seed hopper and 20 litre micro granulate hopper, with the entire unit boasting a 5000 litre volume fertilizer hopper.
New for this year, Väderstad is offering adjustable closing wheels, so operators can adjust the mound of soil distributed over the row trench.
Find out more about Väderstad’s availability in Canada by listening to the company’s Larry Wieler, in conversation with RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney at Agritechnica 2017: